NCAA to Allow Early NBA Draft Entrants to Come Back to School After CombineBy Russell Westerholm
The NCAA changed a policy on the NBA Draft more favorable to players who enter their names before exhausting their playing eligibility.
According to USA Today, the NCAA will now give such student-athletes 10 days after the combine to withdraw their names from the NBA Draft. Players previously had until the early signing period in late April to withdraw from the draft.
The rule change is not expected to affect players projected as high lottery selections, as those elite-level prospects' draft stock is typically not even affected by injury. Rather, players with more uncertain draft projections will benefit by being able to be graded and evaluated at the draft combine before choosing whether or not to stand by their decision to leave school early.
"The rule is a good idea because it provides men's basketball student-athletes the opportunity to test their dream of going beyond the stage of amateurism into the professional level without completely sacrificing their collegiate career, should they find they are not as prepared as they had hoped for the next level," Cody McDavis, a member of the Division I Men's Basketball Oversight Committee, said in an NCAA news release.
As Bleacher Report noted, many wanted the NCAA and NBA to come to an agreement on doing away with the rule requiring draftees to spend a year between high school and the NBA. Considering the NBA wanted to heighten the minimum age for draftees, the rule change is a welcome compromise.
"I am of the belief that a student-athlete who does not receive an invite to the draft or an invite to work out with a team will make the smart decision to return back to college to continue to grow as a player," McDavis said. "However, should they receive an invite, they will have an opportunity to compete against draft-potential competition and receive feedback on their performance. Either way, they have an opportunity to make an educated decision that is best for them and their family. That is why this is so important."